Throughout the week … Tasmania has been hosting an event of the utmost magnificence. Hobiennale17 (a.k.a HB17) is a festival of works coming from 18 Artist Run Initiatives (ARIs) throughout Australia and New Zealand and running until November 12th. Young and emerging (but not necessarily) artists have produced work in wide ranging venues throughout the city including Contemporary Art Tasmania, Domain House (gothic & haunted), The Battery (a bunker to protect Tasmania from French invasion), the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG basement) and The Commons (an old Retrovision store). At the latter we find work by five Canberra artists, Patrick Lamour, Cat Mueller, Tom Buckland, Nicci Haynes and Grace Blake, taken to Hobart by ANCA and organised with impressive proficiency by Karina Keys. Needless to say they have all done Canberra proud in Surface World a show about surfaces but far from superficial. This exhibition explores points at which the second dimension (outer layers) provide clues to understanding or engaging with the third dimension.
Hobiennale17 is done on the cheap of course with everyone dipping into their savings, crowd funding or getting a loan to get there but as one would expect the work has a vitality and energy about it that will restore your faith in contemporary art. It’s a festival of exciting new ideas by people who are well on the up and up. The first three nights consisted of gruelling rounds of openings (in freezing conditions) around the town with everyone walking or Ubering between venues in often unruly packs. There was a great feeling of grass roots camaraderie amongst participants and visitors where it was really easy to make new friends and swap stories and ideas – and in some cases consider future projects and collaborations. CCAS, for instance, got together with Wellington ARI’s play_station and Meanwhile with a view to some sister city action in the not too distant future. There is too many great shows to talk about but rest assured HB17 is an HD snapshot of where its at. This will sound like a big call but HB17 is one of the best events of its type I have ever been too – a networking love fest that will have repercussions for some time to come. To quote Alice Springs ARI Watch This Space.